NeuroDerm, which has developed a method of administering drugs via the skin, has announced good results in a trial of its product that combines two treatments for Parkinson's disease administered dermally. This is the second product in the company's pipeline, and it is now completing the Phase IIa stage of trials, the initial efficacy stage. The product at the most advanced stage of development is a single treatement for Parkinson's disease administered via the skin, which has already successfully undergone a Phase IIIb multi-center efficacy trial.
54 healthy volunteers aged 18-40 took part in the current trial. It was found that the material does not cause side-effects beyond those expected, that the level of the drug in the blood remains uniform, and that the company succeeded in controlling the levels of the drug, making them higher during the day and lower, but still at the desired level, during the night, and again higher the following morning, so that the person being tested would awake in a state in which he or she was already capable of movement.
According to NeuroDerm CEO Dr. Oded Lieberman, the new product is especially efficacious in comparison with products administered by swallowing, in that it releases the drug during the night as well. Patients thus avoid two problematic situations, namely loss of control of movement during the night, and rising in a "frozen" state that persists until the first tablet taken in the morning starts to take effect, or else taking the tablet immediately before sleep, and becoming restless in the first hours of the night, sometimes still without any positive effect on the "frozen" state at waking.
Lieberman says that any competitor drug administered by swallowing, even with delayed release (many companies are developing delayed release Parkinson's treatments, including Israeli company Intec), is adversely affected by changes in levels of the drug caused by variations in digestion, whereas a dermally administered treatment can offer uniform drug levels in the blood all day and all night.
NeuroDerm recently received a $1 million grant from the Michael J. Fox Foundation, which supports outstanding companies and research in Parkinson's Disease. This is the second time that it has received the grant, at the maximum amount that the foundation awards.
NeuroDerm is a privately held company controlled by Robert Taub, founder of Omrix Biopharmaceuticals, which was sold for $438 million to Johnson & Johnson. The Capital Point group and private investor Uwe Wascher are also invested in it.
Published by Globes [online], Israel business news - www.globes-online.com - on June 20, 2013
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